CLARKSTON COMING BACK!
Because of the Corona virus pandemic and the resulting economic and social shutdown, the Clarkston refugee donations had to be put on hold. We are back as of August 1, but in the meantime we have been busy!
Because of our strong neighborhood connections, we have been tuning up bikes for neighbors who, because of the pandemic desired to start riding again. And we have been collecting, refurbishing and donating bikes to neighbors who need them....Americans, after all, are part of the global community! The same neighbors have been generously donating money to our Global Spokes project, as we don't charge them for the repairs.
KIDS ALL OVER THE WORLD LOVE BIKES!
We have already given away hundreds of bicycles to refugee kids and their families who have arrived from all over the world.
In the next several months, we are expecting a steady stream of families - perhaps as many 700 from Afghanistan and 900 more from other countries seeking asylum and safety. We count on our neighborhood connections to support us with bikes that they're no longer using in order to help these people with their most basic transportation needs.
HELP COMES FROM ALL OVER
Bicycle co-ops are a nationwide phenomenon, and are a 'community' in the best sense of the word. Global Spokes has relied on the Atlanta SOPO co-op for parts and bikes, and the Bearings co-op has generously donated bikes to our cause.
But the network is wide!
Once, I told a friend that one of the biggest needs we have or an old bike is a good seat or saddle, if you are a biker! Many seats are damaged.
My friend's local bike co-op was Broke Spoke in Lexington, KY, and they generously donated a 'bagful' of great saddles to use. Of course this generosity will be reciprocated if the occasion arises!
WESTIMINSTER ACADEMY PITCHES IN
in 2019 Global Spokes worked in partnership with The Global Village Project and Westminster Academy to design a project between the two schools.
Under the guidance of Michelle Kuppermann of the GVP, and Akwetee Watkins of Westminster, we began refurbishing 11 bikes for the GVP middle school girls at Westminster and 7 from Global Spokes and SOPO bike co-op.
Not only would bikes be fixed and donated, but students from each of the schools would visit the other in an exchange program.
Because of the pandemic imitations, this project has been postponed, but will resume when conditions allow for it to be done safely.
REFUGE COFFEE COMPANY
Global Spokes had the pleasure of using Refuge Coffee Company's facility to donate bikes and refugees. This coffee and pastry shop is located in the hub of Clarkston and serves as a popular gathering place for a clientele that's mostly refugees but also welcomes people of all backgrounds to interact.